So you walk into your local butcher, each and every time you see a bundle of gourmet sausages hanging up at the back. They look so plump and fresh, a polar opposite to the odd beige coloured ones you find in your supermarket with the generic “beef” or “pork” title. Barbecuing in Australia wouldn’t be the same without sausages, it’s in our blood, it’s something we should take pride in. I’ve always thought about making my own sausages, but honestly had no idea where to start. That was until I spotted theMad Millie Sausage Kit. Problem solved.
I compare sausage making with the likes of making your own pasta, pizza dough or any bread. It’s therapeutic and a lot of fun. I see it as more of a family activity so get your kids involved, your partner or even your grandmother. Not only does it make the process easier, but you get to spend the time bonding with whoever you have picked to help you out. There will be plenty of laughs and at the end, your very own homemade sausages. What more could you want?
The kit itself includes a stainless steel meat grinder, grinding plate, stuffing plate, mincing blade, plunger, 3 different sized stuffing attachments, 2 rolls of collagen castings (10 m each) along with the recipe and instruction book. One important thing to note is the maximum clamp thickness is 38 mm, so measure your bench first or think of an alternative like your dining room table, or even an outdoor table. The clamp has thick rubber ends so it should avoid any damage to your bench top.
I’d strongly suggest you make yourself a coffee (or tea for you non-coffee drinkers) and spend some time reading over the included guide. This will allow you to flow when making the sausages without having to stop to read the manual. This will hopefully stop air bubbles getting in your sausages and generally makes it more fun. After you have read the manual it is time to mince your meat. Simply cut your meat (I used the succulent lamb shoulder) into 3 cm cubes (Use a sharp knife!). Avoid adding in any hard sinew or fat as this could clog up the mincer. You really only want the soft fats. If you find you don’t have enough fat, you can add the fat from pork belly to balance it all out (the fat keeps your sausage moist). Once you have all your meat cut up, start mincing. Simply fill up the plate and use the plunger to push the meat through whilst turning the handle. There you have it, your own mince! If you want a finer mince, you can run it through again. Not only can this be used for sausages, but you could freeze the meat to make hamburgers, spag bowl or anything else that requires mince for a simple weeknight meal.
Next you want to add your flavours, so place your mince in a large bowl and start adding in whatever you like. There is a recipe book included with the kit which will give you some ideas if you’re struggling. I had my mind set on a lamb and harissa combination and it didn’t disappoint! Once your flavours have been added, place the mixture back into the fridge for a good 30 minutes. This will cool the mince down making it easier to stuff the sausage and also give the flavours time to get to know one another. It is important to clean the machine after you have minced the meat. If you attempt to be lazy (like I did) you will find it is next to impossible to actually make a sausage!
Changing from the mincer plate to the stuffing plate couldn’t be easier, simply unscrew the cap, carefully remove the mincer plate and the blade, place the stuffing plate on, choose your stuffing size and screw the cap back on. Then you simply place the collagen casting onto the end of the stuffing attachment ready to stuff. This is the part where having more than one person is very handy. You want one person to be adding the meat and turning the handle whilst the other is guiding the casting to avoid massive air bubbles and a complete disaster. Add you mixture back in and start stuffing those sausages.
Once you have finished stuffing, you can then twist the sausages to size. Place them back in the fridge for 2 hours before cooking (or longer if you have time, I found they were even tastier the next day). It also helps to wet the casting, this will help prevent them from breaking and also make twisting them into size easier. And that’s it… you have your very own homemade sausages! You want to cook these over a slow and gentle heat to avoid splitting the sausages, but they will definitely be worth the wait. Go and get yourself a Mad Mille Sausage Kit right now, you won’t regret it!
Lamb and Harissa Sausages
What you’ll need:
- 1 x Mad Millie Sausage making kit.
- Collagen sausage castings (included with the kit)
- 1kg lamb shoulder
- 2 heaped tablespoons harissa paste
- 1 heaped tablespoon paprika
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- large pinch of salt
- large pinch of pepper
- Dice your lamb shoulder into 3 cm cubes, removing any hard fat/sinew (keep as much soft fat as possible in the mix)
- Once your lamb is diced, add it to the mincer in batches and mince into a large bowl.
- Combine the Harissa paste, paprika, garlic salt and pepper in with the mince and mix well.
- Set aside into the freezer for 30 minutes for the flavours to bond.
- Clean your mincer! Don’t be slack and not do this, there will be a large amount of meat left in the mincer so pull it apart, clean it and dry it ready to make the sausages.
- Attach the sausage filler, and place the collagen casting over the end (you may need to put a tiny air hole at the end)
- This part is much easier with two people, so rope in your kids, partner, grandmother best friend, whoever. Use one person to add the meat and turn the handle, while the other person guides the casting to make sure it’s filling correctly and there aren’t too many air holes.
- Fill until you have no meat left! Then twist the sausages to size and place into the fridge for at least two hours. Again this lets the flavours really get to know each other and lets the sausage hold its shape.
- Crack open a beer, crank up the barbecue (well keep it on low) and cook these bad boys until they look like sausages! I served mine on a roll with lettuce, roasted capsicum and crumbled fetta with a dash of hot sauce.